Kaufhaus des Westens (or KaDeWe)
If you’ve been to London, or even if you haven’t, you’ve probably heard of Harrods. It’s a really big and expensive department store in South Kensington, and they have an amazing foodhall with all sorts of pricey and delicious treats. But I have to be honest here, Harrods has got NOTHING on KaDeWe in Berlin!
The Kaufhaus de Westens, or KaDeWe as those in the know call it, is the biggest department store in Germany, and the second largest in Europe (Harrods is bigger, but I think KaDeWe is better). Its the “English Department Store of the West”, and it has everything you could ever possibly need or want.
The original store was built and opening in the early 20th century, but was badly damaged in the war (an airplane actually crashed INTO in). The store is located on Tauentzienstraße, a major shopping street, near the center of the former West Berlin. It is technically in the extreme northwest of the neighbourhood of Schöneberg. By 1950, the place had reopened and became a symbol of economic power in West Germany. Most of the floors were renovated before the store celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2007.
Each of KaDeWe 7 (but really 8 if you are American) floors features something special: one floor is just for women’s accessories, one floor for men’s clothing, and two entire floors dedicated to food. We took most of these pictures from the 6th floor, where there is an amazing array of food. One sign claimed that they had 600 varieties of sausage. I was in heaven!
We perused the various counters until we were starving, and then we went upstairs to the buffet/restaurant called the Winter Garden. It was the perfect option for us, because you could pick what you want without having the stress of ordering in German, and the food was pretty fresh and tasty. Unfortunately, as with most buffets, you end up getting a bit more than you can realistically eat, but that’s not the end of the world. The Winter Garden is quite lovely, with a glass ceiling and lots of pretty lights. It was quite noisy, but I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a low-key dining option with a lot of variety. And I’ll give you some serious kudos if you can walk past all those sausages without developing a serious hunger!